This is just a rumination on the value of hunting. I think the concept of "it pays it stays" unreasonably focuses on the target animal having a value. The concept of an animal having a monetary value is objectionable to some. And, I think the focus on the animal is actually misplaced. The real value is the ecosystem that supports the animal. The price for the animal is the charge to harvest the supported resource. The animal outside of the ecosystem has a very marginal value to hunters. The biggest threat to wildlife is habitat loss. This is where hunting really creates a remedy. Without tracts of wild areas one cannot hunt. You can put any value you want on an animal, but a hunter will not want to go after it unless it is in a natural environment. A hunter will avoid small enclosures, and what amounts to a 'shoot'. What a hunter does is pay for is the right to take bounty from a wild area on which he/she can hunt. The trophy price for the animal is a species specific fee, for sure. But, the monetization of the activity actually generates the revenue necessary to support and maintain the wild area. This can also been seen in the tag fees we pay for in our home jurisdictions. Those fees are for the right to shoot a particular species of animal. But, that is the only practical way to price the activity. To replace a tag system with an access fee is not good policy. An access fee to go on the land would be charged to all users of the environment. For many policy reasons we do not want to restrict access to public land. So, the hunting fee is charged to those who want to take some of the bounty off of that land. Just as havest permits are charged for the off-take of trees, minerals et. All these fees are for the use of the natural environment. And, the revenue is for the maintenance of the naturalized environment. My point is that to base the economic arguments for hunting on the idea that the animals have an economic value actually mis-characterizes the situation. The activity of hunting means I will pay to access a parcel of land to take resources. The price for an animal includes many variables, such as abundance, effort to get, relative danger of the activity etc. But, the eonomic value is in an ecosystem that sustains the animals we hunt. Without the ecosystem we would only be shooting targets, and that is not hunting. Just my New Year's rumination. Happy 2018.